Tackling the problem of teaching convincingly what the Church offers about homosexuality...
Yesterday I read Fr. Z's post with that title about Fr. Hollowell's new endeavor, to produce a documentary on what the Catholic Church teaches as regards homosexuality. Fr. H seeks to do this work in the spirit of the new evangelization as a means to reach young people, who have been more or less 'indoctrinated' that gay is good, Church teaching bad. My words, not his - but that is pretty much the point. I like Fr. H's idea and wish him well - click here to find out more about the project and to donate - he needs a lot of money to accomplish the work.
We all write and say things - sometimes crudely - when we are stressed or sometimes just tired of being nice after some very trying engagement in the culture war. We post, and then we go back and edit or remove the post entirely. I just did that today. I think Fr. Z did so as well. Unless I imagined otherwise, or mixed it up with another post, his post on Fr. Hollowell is missing a few comments and text. Too bad, because I wanted to write about them. I thought about what was said, and I wanted to comment in a post of my own.
Update: Doh! I did get the post mixed up with another one! Oh well. That other one here.
My first thought in response to a couple of statements about same sex marriage was: "Since the Church is against it, maybe there would be a bit more credibility to that prohibition if they enforced the rule against ordaining homosexuals to the priesthood?" But the statement I was responding to is gone.
I had other remarks for a couple of the people who made comments on Fr. Z's post - but it appears their comments were removed - and I can't respond accurately to what is not there. However, one guy pointed out that the arts have traditionally been a 'haven' for homosexuals. I'm sure he won't let his son take an art class but will have him play sports instead - no homos there. Oddly enough, priesthood and religious life has been somewhat of a haven as well - which brings me back to the first point. Church teaching might be made more acceptable if they practiced what they preach.
That said, a former Dominican priest, who reads Fr. Z and is quite the conservative critic of all things liberal had this to say in response to Fr. Z's post:
The man is right. The Church has nothing to offer - except salvation. I'm wondering if he meant to say, 'the Church has nothing new to offer' - because it does come down to don't do it. More than that, it is perennial teaching based on Scripture and tradition, and that horrid natural law.One of the traditional RC blogs I check has a posting on "tackling-the-problem-of-teaching-convincingly-what-the-church-offers-about-homosexuality."
Well, the problem is that the church has nothing to offer.
As I have said I understand the inner logic of Catholic sexual morality and do not fault it for being true to itself. I do get the whole male/female marriage thing. To say "OK, cool" to homosexuality would unravel the whole thread of a bi-millennial organism. So it can't say that. For reasons similar to why it cannot say the same even about masturbation or contraception or shacking up outside marriage. At the end of that series of OK cools lies dissolution into liberal Protestantism. Which offers you nothing you can't get elsewhere.
But in terms of "having something to offer" besides "Don't Do It"? Nada.
Or worse, the thrill of sitting around in some Courage meeting acting as if your deepest desire for human connection is an addiction to a really bad drug.
My advice to Catholic homos is that you either have to ignore this and say to yourself that it does not really apply to you because the Church cannot really see you as the existing being you are, or get out. - USMale
Fr. Hollowell says in his video that he had to search and search for what the Church really teaches. Most of what the Church teaches and has taught is already online, so I'm not sure why it was so hard to find. In his proposed documentary he plans to interview Church leaders and spokespersons on the issue - presumably Catholics who are SSA. Will it be the usual line up? I don't know. But there can't be anything new. Church teaching cannot change.
The former Dominican priest also knows that. He suggests: "My advice to Catholic homos is that you either have to ignore this and say to yourself that it does not really apply to you because the Church cannot really see you as the existing being you are, or get out." That works if you see religion or being a Christian as belonging to the right country club - but the Catholic Church is not that. Despite the divisions and classifications and groups within Catholicism- religious orders, groups, organizations, trad and progressive, and so on - the Church isn't a corporation or conglomerate - it is the Ark - it is the Ark of salvation. Sure there are mean spirited people in the Church who hate you, but they are everywhere in the world - hole up in a ghetto such as the Castro and live your life as you see fit if that brings you any peace.
So yes - if you want your cake and to eat it too - if you don't believe the Creed - become an Anglican or an Old Catholic - join the country club. If you want acceptance and affirmation and approval from men - religious men or non religious men - join a fellowship church. But if you really want Christ, the salvation of your soul, remain a faithful Roman Catholic.
The former Dominican priest knows that the Church cannot and will not change - it is why he left.
I long ago concluded that the RC Church was not going to have female priests, married priests, or say it was OK to be gay or be on the pill. I adjusted my life accordingly. Nothing in the intervening years –evanescent blips notwithstanding—has made me change my mind. These things seem as unlikely to me as corporate reunion with the more-than-ever-fragmented Anglican “Communion”. Which has become a kind of cautionary tale of what can happen when you do embrace the above items.What I like about him is that he is honest - and really smart.
The populist egalitarian obsessions of the post-Marxist liberal West will not, IMHO, be welcomed into the bi-millennial Catholic/Orthodox Churches. For that you have to go to cobwebbed and dotty Canterbury or the other restless and groovy progeny of the Reformation. So I am both fascinated and incredulous to observe people who keep hoping that the Camelot interpretation of Vatican II is waiting just around the corner. Or for the next pope. Etc. Hence, my kinship with King Herod. - USMale
A couple of conclusions:
- Living a chaste life doesn't kill you.
- You're damned if you do and damned if you don't - in the eyes of religious people - but not in the eyes of God.
- Go to confession and be faithful to prayer and the sacraments, seek the approval of God, not men.
- Teach the truth to kids - the reason they don't believe is because they've been indoctrinated not to. It will take more than a documentary to convince them.
- To the bishops - you can't change anything if you don't change yourselves. Be consistent in your teaching.
- To gay Catholics. Be faithful to Church teaching, live chastely. Pray very much. Stay away from involvement in Church groups, councils, committees, and so on - if you want to avoid the busybodies and bigots that is. Be faithful and do good works, remaining hidden - like a Carmelite - not out of fear, but out of love for God. Remember Lot's wife - in all the tumult and drama, she looked back - her passions stirred - and she turned to stone.
- If people ask you for advice, tell them to repent.